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Fred is moving through the Caribbean today and working toward the US. When forecasting tropical weather trends are your friends. No one model is going to accurately show what will happen with the storm so you look at the trends between the runs and the models. Today the trends have been our friend, we have seen the forecast track trend east and the forecast strength trend weaker. This has in part been due to the interaction of the storm as it moves over the island of Hispanola. The weaker storm makes it harder for the models to pick up where the low-level center is and where it will be. This is still the biggest question to the potential strength and path of the storm.
Fred will come off the coast of Hispanola tonight and will likely be lacking a low-level center. The mid-level center should move to the West-Northwest through Saturday. As the storm redevelops it will be prone to shear interaction that should keep it weak. It will also start to latch onto the high-pressure system in the Atlantic that will eventually curve the storm to the north. Impacts from the system will be mostly on the east side as westerly shear will make the system lopsided. Much like what we had with Elsa, areas west of the center will see little impact if any.
Over the next 24 hours, we should get a much better look at the outcome of this storm and where it is headed as well as details of what we could see here in the panhandle. As of now, the system is expected to be weak and lopsided the tropics can and do change quickly. Make sure to join us on Facebook and here on mypanhandle.com for Tropic Topic Thursday at 1.